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Former Perry frigate USS Ford sunk in live-fire exercise

first_imgFormer US Navy vessels used in SINKEXs, referred to as hulks, are prepared in strict compliance with regulations prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency under a general permit the US Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are conducted to ensure that people and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event.Towed to waters near Guam from Washington State, the former USS Ford was decommissioned in 2013 after more than 28 years of service. The ship was named for Gunner’s Mate Patrick O. Ford, who was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism as a patrol river boatman in the Vietnam War.Following the sinking of ex-USS Ford, less than ten decommissioned OHP frigates remain on hold for future sinking exercises or dismantling. Ex-USS Ford (FFG 54), one of the few Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates still around, was sunk by live fire from ships and aircraft taking part in exercise Pacific Griffin 2019.The decommissioned ship was sunk on October 1, approximately 170 nautical miles off the coast of Guam.Units from the US and Republic of Singapore Navy participated in the sinking exercise (SINKEX), which provided them the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against a surface target at sea.Along with USS Gabrielle Giffords, several other units participated in the SINKEX, including missiles launched from maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadrons VP-1, VP-5 and VP-47; bombs released from B-52 bombers from US Air Forces’ Expeditionary 69th Bomb Squadron; and surface-to-surface Harpoon missiles launched from the Republic of Singapore multi-role stealth frigates RSS Formidable (FFS 68) and RSS Intrepid (FFS 69).“This exercise provided important opportunities for realistic at-sea training with live ordnance, conditions that cannot be duplicated otherwise,” said Capt. Matthew Jerbi, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7 and co-commander of the Task Group for the exercise. “Training alongside our Singapore partners in a complex exercise like this is invaluable.”An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter fires an AGM-114 Hellfire missile at the former USS Ford (FFG 54). Photo: US Navy Photo: Aerial image of the sinking exercise (SINKEX) of the decommissioned former USS Ford (FFG 54) during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2019. Photo: US Navy Share this article View post tag: USS Ford View post tag: US Navy View post tag: SINKEXlast_img read more

Faculty Position in the Department of Family & Community Medicine

first_imgResident & Medical Student Education Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine The Department of Family and Community Medicine seeks aboard-certified family physician to join our faculty.We are looking for an enthusiastic family physician with greatclinical and teaching skills that preferably has at least one totwo years of academic medicine experience. Position includesassisting in all aspects of resident and medical student educationincluding teaching and supervision of residents and medicalstudents. Our physicians practice in a busy academic/residencyenvironment taking pride in serving a diverse population in adowntown urban environment.We have a highly competitive Primary Care Sports MedicineFellowship and a strong Research Division as well as ongoingpartnerships throughout the state of Maryland. We havewell-established community relationships.Expected rank is Assistant Professor or higher, however, rank andtenure status is dependent on candidate’s qualifications.UMB is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Allqualified applicants will receive consideration for employmentwithout regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race,color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteranstatus, age, or any other characteristic protected by law orpolicy.Qualifications :Qualifications: MD or equivalent. Completion of Family Medicineresidency. Board Certified or Board Eligible.last_img read more

Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associate-Surgery

first_imgThe major focus of our research projects is to determine themechanism for cardiac regeneration using different cell-basedpreparations, including exosomes, condition media, and the stemcells themselves and testing these cell-based products in a varietyof regenerative assays. In particular, we are determining how mIRspresent in the exosomes derived from the stem cells affect theregenerative process to recover the injured myocardium. Severalanimal and cell model systems, including conditional geneknockouts, will be used in these research projects, and many stateof the art techniques are available, such as real time PCR,CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing, confocal microscopy, real time imagingand advanced microscopy, multicolor flow and sorting, HPLC and massspectrometry, and ultrasonic and telemetric measurements ofcardiovascular function in rodents and large animals.Qualifications :Applicants must have a PhD, MD/PhD or equivalent degree and provenskills and experience in molecular biology.The University ofMaryland School of Medicine has a group of outstanding scientistsin cardiovascular research, especially in cardiovascular cellsignaling, diabetes, endothelial biology, and pathogenesis ofatherosclerosis. Successful applicants will have the opportunity towork with them and get help in developing an independent career inthis research field.To apply, send an application letter and CV, and the name andcontact information for three references to Dr. Sunjay Kaushal, MD,PhD, Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery,110 S. Paca Street, 7th floor, Baltimore, MD 21201,[email protected] accommodations are needed, contact Staffing & CareerServices at 410-706-7171, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.Maryland Relay can be accessed by dialing 711 (in-state) or1-800-735-2258.The University of Maryland, Baltimore is an EqualOpportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women,veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged toapply.last_img read more

Right to Pointillism

first_imgAs a self-confessed art philistine, I look Georges Seurat’s nineteenth century pointillist painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and see only a group prim and proper Victorians relaxing in a park on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, however, saw in it the potential for the musical Sunday the Park with George, turning the figures of the painting into vivacious and engaging characters. As soon as I heard the word musical’ I seriously considered not turning up to the preview, convinced that I wouldn’t able to fight the urge to giggle whenever the actors broke out song. But to my surprise, within few seconds Sunday In the Park with George managed to convert me into a fully-fledged musical addict. The play focuses upon the relationship between the title character and his mistress, Dot. George, a brilliant if self absorbed painter, might possess the artistic vision to transform a group of hooligans into a band of angels with a single sweep of his brush. Yet by an ironic twist of fate he is blind to the world around him, losing Dot, who is expecting his child, to a pastry maker. With masterful choreography, the entire cast join together in the central episode to recreate their positions in the painting and reveal the angst behind Seurat’s image of Victorian bliss. Doomed to relive this never-ending summer’s day, spending a Sunday in the park with George becomes an existential nightmare for the figures in the picture. This metaphor resonates throughout the entire play, harrowingly symbolic of Dot and George’s feelings of stultification.Sondheim’s material is top notch but the actors also deserve some credit for the play’s success. Thomas Eyre- Maunsell delivers a fine performance as George, but it is Chantelle Staynings who is the real star of the show, her childlike pouting encapsulating Dot’s desperate attempt to capture her lover’s attention. The trip to the theatre would be made worthwhile if only to hear her impressive vocal range during Dot’s mesmerising solo. So if you’re like me and the word ‘musical’ makes you want to run a mile, my advice is to give Sunday in the Park with George chance. It might just change your mind, pushing the boundaries of the musical to new limits. With its darkly comic undertones, the experience resembles The Picture of Dorian Gray more than any performance of Annie or the shockingly awful Moulin Rouge. The keen psychological insight demonstrated in this play proves that musical theatre is capable of engaging the intellect of its audience, while also making them smile. Perhaps the most impressive proof of this production’s lingering impact is that I walked home grinning, as its unforgettable lyrics flowed in and out of my head.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

First Night Review: The Irreverence Crusade

first_imgWhile student-written comedy is often a hit-or-miss affair, there is much in Jack Sanderson-Thwaite’s sketch-show which is original and very funny, giving new and bizarre, yet enchantingly simple perspectives on the world. The content of the sketches deals with altered perceptions and irrationality, creating an aberrant world where fairy tales come to life through mediums as far removed as the business of dealers and TV news reporting. The moment the audience thinks they have a handle on the action, that they can find a meaningful link between the sketches, enabling them to keep their feet on the ground, is the moment when personifications of day and night duke it out or the world is viewed from the point of view of a lamp post. It is quite clear that all bets are off.Occasional recurring characters are all that tenuously links together some sketches, and it is truly the lack of rationality present in all which create this convincing world of madness and delirium. One fully believes that even the most bizarre of the sketches viewed could occur whilst walking down the street in this self-proclaimed ‘wondrous realm‘. The difficulty of disentangling oneself from this world is a testament to Sanderson-Thwaite’s success in enticing the audience with the ludicrous goings-on. The energised ensemble cast almost manages to saves the few sketches which run too long or lack pace, and adds to the accomplishment of those which Sanderson-Thwaite’s surreal writing already illuminates. Alexander Craven and Ben Forrest are particularly worthy of mention for their impeccable comic timing – it is the scene consisting of only these two which is perhaps the funniest in the show.James Callender performs brilliantly as Demetrius Skylark, the ‘compare extraordinaire’, our guide through the anarchic and tumultuous world created by Sanderson-Thwaite. Speaking directly to the audience, Skylark’s comments on the characters and this bizarre world provide a surprising tone of downheartedness and uncertainty to the proceedings, as he struggles to express himself in logical terms in a world where no logic exists. The oddball action culminates in chaos around our guide, in a sketch parodying the nature of sketch shows themselves. Making the audience fully aware of the writer’s sophisticated talents, Skylark then delivers a Puck-like summation, addressing the desires and intentions of the characters in a suddenly sobering and not unwelcome turn.The action is outlandish without being absurd, and the charming daftness of the better sketches is what makes them the most memorable. It’s entirely likely that if the play lasted any longer than an hour, the topsy-turvy world would crumble into the preposterous or the laboured, but a jolting halt is put on the proceedings at just the right moment. Sanderson-Thwaite, always in control as both a writer and flawless director, drags the audience, busy peering at this surreal world, away from the brink just as suddenly as they were thrust towards it.Laura Williamslast_img read more

Comic Relief?

first_imgJennifer Anne-Hill champions the cause of the graphic novelSo you want to read comics, do you? Well, you’re going to need lots of storage space. Flat boxes, acid-free polythene bags. I can recommend a good website.Let’s debunk a few stereotypes here. I don’t deny that there are people who go in for all that geeky stuff but for most, the fun lies in reading them, not preserving them. In the interests of breaking down preconceptions and providing a comprehensive introduction to the novice, I’ve read the best and the worst comic book offerings, so you won’t have to and lined up a little something for everyone. And while we’re debunking stereotypes, I’m a 21 year-old young woman in a Topshop t-shirt who is planning to show you that comics aren’t just for slightly strange men or monosyllabic teenagers – in fact, most parents would be shocked to see their precious little darlings reading a few of the titles I’ve listed here.So why should you read comics? For one thing they’re intellectually fascinating, often capable of subjecting the reader to the most rigorous literary and psychoanalytic theory. The variety and range that is available means that whether you’re after horror, crime, or romance there’ll be something to satisfy your tastes; comics may be well-known for their costumed superheroes but there’s not a genre that this medium hasn’t touched.In the 1930s and ‘40s, an American publisher called DC Comics launched a line of superhero characters which included the debuts of Batman (1939) and Superman (1938). This has come to be known as the golden age of comics, and purists maintain that standards have been slipping ever since. The silver age began in the 1960s when the American company Marvel Comics, headed by legend Stan Lee, created a completely new line of superheroes including the Fantastic Four (1961), Spiderman (1962), and X-Men (1963). The third age of comics started somewhere in the ‘80s when comic books had fewer problems with censorship, and also began to display a propensity to question the genre itself. Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1986) told the story of a superhero team over two different generations which tackled adult themes and psychologically profiled its ‘heroes.’ After all, what exactly does motivate a man to put on tights and a cape and start hanging around looking sinister on rooftops at night? All of these titles were published as separate monthly or weekly comics, telling a story over a period of months or years. Story arcs that sell well will almost certainly be collected into larger volumes and published as graphic novels, even if writers struggle to keep their heroes relevant to new decades. The nature of the graphic novel itself is a complicated issue – some would say that it is just a pretentious term for a longer comic book, rather than anything more unique, and they’re probably right. However, for non-US residents, graphic novels are incredibly important, since it’s really difficult to get hold of comics, and unless you live near a decent comic shop you invariably miss some issues. Waiting until the collected edition is available in Waterstones is, frankly, much easier, and you end up with an attractive tome to adorn your shelves.Transmetropolitan: Back On The Street Warren Ellis Foul-mouthed, gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem makes the leftie press look cool in this rip-roaring, paranoid ride through an urban dystopian sprawl merely referred to as ‘The City.’ Spider takes on corrupt politicians, his editor and an apathetic and ignorant populace of thousands in a city where a new religion is invented every 35 minutes and a new cable channel every 20. It’s like Hunter S. Thompson. But in the future.Like this? You’ll never find anything as good and you’ll cry into your alcoholic beverage of choice every night wishing that you could just go back and read it with new eyes. And if Ellis’s predictions about the future come true, one day you possibly might.The Complete ‘Maus’ Art SpiegelmanIn an intensely biographical and autobiographical work, the writer records interviews with his aged father who survived the Nazi concentration camps. We switch between the narrative which takes place during WWII and the narrative during the present day, in which Spiegalman attempts to relate to his father in the aftermath of his mother’s suicide. We see the writer and budding cartoonist decide on the best way to tell his story, deciding on a very simplistic, detached style in which the Germans are portrayed as cats and the Jews as mice. This amazing work has won a Pulizter prize, and is often and justifiably compared to Schlinder’s List.Like this? Try Palestine by Joe Sacco or Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan. The Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Joss WhedonJoss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) takes on Cyclops, Wolverine and the team in a way that invites new readers of the comic to enjoy them alongside the old readers, using his trademark witty dialogue and showing what happens when a brilliant writer who grew up with these long-running characters is handed the series and let loose.Like this? Try the next instalment; it’s even better. (I won’t tell you what they do to Wolverine, but it’s wonderful and humiliating and worth waiting for.) Alternatively, Buffy fans should try Joss Whedon’s Season Eight, the official continuation to the TV series in comic format.Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes Neil GaimanThis title introduces the Endless; near-immortal beings who embody essential parts of humanity and the universe. Desire is everything that you have ever wanted, with eyes as tawny and sharp as yellow wine. Dream, the Sandman, is the prince of stories, the muse of many. Death is a goth girl wearing lots of eyeliner. The first in a ten part series, these graphic novels begin slowly but end superbly. Each book is enjoyable by itself but the true power of the series only becomes apparent once you have finished the entire story, so only begin these books if you have lots of money and time. Like this? Try: Fables or Death: The High Cost of LivingBatman: The Dark Knight Returns Frank MillarThe mini-series that made Batman cool again. Released in the same year as Watchmen and projecting much the same mood, this series did away with the camp image projected by the Batman and Robin seen on TV and re-introduced readers to the brooding and lonely detective figure employing dubious methods of justice in order to keep crime-ridden Gotham City safe. Millar also introduces us to the first girl Robin.Like this? Try Moore’s Watchmen or the noir feel of Millar’s Sin City.Fables: Legends in ExileBill WillinghamAnother one for English students and anyone else who enjoys a new take on an old genre, Fables crafts the characters of Eastern and European fairy tales into creatures living in our modern world, their survival dependant on their continued presence in storytelling. (Note – if they ever make a movie of this, Bigby Wolf – get it? – would clearly be played by Colin Firth and a wet shirt scene would be mandatory.) It’s a romance, but it’s intelligent. Spotting minor characters from obscure folk tales provides plenty of fun too.Like this? Try Gaiman’s Sandman or Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.last_img read more

Charitable Feelings

first_imgWhat do you have to do to become a ‘charitable’ Oxford student? Perhaps it’s easier to say what you don’t have to do. You don’t have to have a lot of spare time, climb mountains for breast cancer or make tea and coffee in a hostel. You don’t even have to spend a day in sponsored silence, three-legged agony or waving a bucket at random passers-by. If you happened to have strolled into Merton quad last Friday you would have been witness to the climax of Merton RAG Week: the custard vote. Members of the college voted throughout the week on who they wanted to pour buckets of custard over, the prime contenders being the JCR President, members of her exec, and the Chaplain. The charitable thing to do, of course, was to give money to watch others suffer the fate of cold custard. There is a myth that if we buy the Big Issue (and recycle it after we’ve read it), we have somehow become ‘a better person.’ But at Oxford, it is possible to redefine what it means to be charitable. Charity doesn’t have to be difficult.We all tend to ignore our dreaded bank statements and, irrespective of our charitable aims and high morals, most of us simply cannot afford to splash out on generous charity donations. You don’t have to have a smoking wallet however, as student charities such as RAG put emphasis on raising as well as giving – an ethos which paid off in £30,000 worth of charitable donations last year alone. A small lifestyle change can also go a long way. Having drunk a bottle of wine before hitting town in order to save on extortionate club drink prices, how many of us shrug our shoulders and walk past the Big Issue seller sitting by the cash point on the way to the Bridge? We tell ourselves that the £1.50 required for a Big Issue could contribute to a well needed pint or some cheesy chips whilst stumbling home. Realistically, if you bought the Big Issue instead of cheesy chips then the world would be a better place; you would both be making a charitable gesture as well as taking small steps to that supermodel waistline. You don’t have to be loaded to donate and have fun; the Entz rep at Merton was sold at a slave auction for the bargain price of two pounds. It is also true that we aren’t all lucky enough to have six weeks of our summer to give up to volunteering at a hospital in Africa or teaching at an orphanage in India. An occasional afternoon or evening a week for KEEN can nevertheless make a big difference to people’s lives. KEEN recruits student helpers from both Oxford and Oxford Brookes to help out with mentoring and sports coaching for children and young adults with special needs in Oxfordshire, and a session of volunteering is both rewarding and fun.Even sex can become charitable, with a fair-trade chocolate bar or a novelty RAG condom rose for Valentine’s Day. Speed dating, blind dating, crew dating and that romantic one-on-one with your significant other can all raise money for a good cause: a £5 Rendezvous ticket for Tuesday of sixth week will give you club entrance to Bar Risa and discounts of up to fifty percent off at loads of top Oxford restaurants.Sixth week of Hilary is Oxford’s RAG week and it provides the opportunity for everyone, even the laziest or poorest among us, to do something good for charity. There are events planned that should appeal to everyone; the fit among us can sprint a few laps of University Parks in the great RAG run. If that sounds too much like hard work, the less energetic could go to a film screening. Saturday night down the pub recycling old jokes could be swapped with a night of laughter at The Big Rag Comedy Night at St John’s. And if none of that appeals, then you could always bear witness to the ritual humiliation of your friends in ‘Mr & Miss Oxford’ at the Union on Wednesday night.We’ve all heard about ethical shopping – in fact we can’t escape from it. It seems virtually impossible to keep up with which high street chains use slave labour, which banks invest ethically, and which budget supermarket gives their battery chickens the best quality of life. Instead I propose a new concept – Ethical Clubbing. Eclectric at Love Bar on a Thursday donates a third of its profits to RAG charities, so it is possible to get that smug, feel-good charity feeling while drinking yourself into oblivion and throwing some dodgy shapes on a dance floor. Despite your pile of unwritten essays, and the fact that you promised your housemates you’d clean the kitchen, a night on the tiles with your student loan in tow would instantly make you a model citizen. And if VK ices and sweat isn’t your scene, then the Hands up for Darfur Fashion show in Trinity might be more up your street. The event in first week of Trinity hopes to exceed the staggering £50,000 total raised at last year’s Hands up for Darfur Ball, and looks to be one of Trinity’s hottest social events. Fashionably FAIR is also geared up to set the Oxford catwalk ablaze. Following in the footsteps of last year’s sell out event Fashionably RED, which raised £1500 for Aids and HIV charity Avert, the event in third week of Trinity is promoting and selling fair trade and ethical clothing.Whilst we can neither escape nor forget Mr Big Issue and his guilt inducing pleas, there are other ways to be a ‘good’ Oxford citizen. You don’t have to be six foot and gorgeous to get involved in a fashion show (always more of a spectator sport); public nudity can become instantly acceptable if you strip off and pose naked in a charity calendar (for the exhibitionists amongst you) and pulling that fit grad student in a charity kiss-o-gram is fun that won’t ruin your reputation on a bogsheet…The options are endless, so I urge people to get up and get involved. While being charitable can make someone a better person, it doesn’t have to make them boring… and it certainly doesn’t have to make them well behaved.last_img read more

University’s commercial sector bucks national trend

first_imgAcross the country the number of spin-off companies founded on the back of University research has fallen to the lowest on record, but Oxford’s commercial arm remains stable.ISIS innovation, the branch of Oxford University which works to protect and commercialise new research and inventions, brought £2.9 m to the University last year, up from £2.4m in 2008.Many universities have seen the income from company creation based on research fall dramatically. Nationally, in the past few years, an average of 210 spin-off companies were created each year by universities on the back of leading academic research. This figure is predicted to have fallen to a mere 50 new companies created in 2009.But ISIS Innovation has not faced such testing times.The number of spin-offs created by ISIS in 2009 remained stable at 3.Of the three spin-offs, two were invested in by overseas clients. In the Daily Telegraph, Tom Hockaday, Managing Director of ISIS innovation, insisted that “there’s no shortage of money in the world. It’s just where it is. We got new investments from Hong Kong and the Middle East. It’s different and noteworthy and … a reflection of things locally.”When asked by Cherwell if the lack of capital would pressure academics into hastily publishing findings in journals, he replied that it “is not a main motivation for researcher’s behaviours. University researchers are quite rightly focussed on their research and teaching activities; in the main commercialisation activities come a distant third in their priorities, and there is no harm in that.”ISIS innovation was founded in 1997 and since then has negotiated, on average, one spin-off every two months. The combined value of these companies now stands at £2 billion.last_img read more

Fines: Where does the money go?

first_imgMoney taken in fines is redistributed in varying ways in different colleges.Some, such as Exeter, put the money recouped towards student hardship funds. Wadham, Mansfield, Pembroke, St. Hugh’s, and Harris Manchester all also put fined money towards student support – although with each college there is often a small amount of money set aside for administration costs.Exeter, for example, feel that, “£30 is deemed as a reasonable administration charge for having to continually chase students to pay their battels.”Other colleges, such as Merton, donate the proceeds of fines towards JCR nominated charities – an approach mirrored by the University’s Proctors who vote at the end of each academic year on a charity to donate to. Often the charity chosen has a connection to students. Colleges such as St. Hilda’s and New put money towards “general academic purposes”.Largely, fines for overdue library fines or other library indiscretions are reinvested into library infrastructure.For example, all of the £7,728 and £4,462 raised through Library fines by Exeter and New Colleges respectively is streamed directly back to the two college’s libraries to assist with library purchases. The Universiy’s policy on reinvesting library fines is similar, fines remain “within the libraries but is not directly allocated to any particular purpose.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%9841%%[/mm-hide-text]last_img read more

University of Chicago condemns trigger warnings

first_imgThe University of Chicago has issued a letter to its incoming students outlining its opposition to “so-called ‘trigger warnings’” and safe spaces.The letter, from the University of Chicago’s Dean of Students, John Ellison, explains to its incoming freshers that, “Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.”“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”The letter comes after an increasing number of American Universities have created introduced “safe spaces”, where students can relax free from ideas that might be stressful or anxiety-inducing.Brown University created a room last year “with cookies, colouring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies” because a debate on sexual assault was taking place on campus.A survey by the National Coalition Against Censorship found that the majority of American educators questioned had at some point used trigger warnings, intended to warn and shield students from ideas that might be discomforting or trauma inducing.“Controversial” speakers have also been cancelled across America, including Condoleezza Rice, George Will, Jason Riley and Michelle Malkin after pressure from students and faculties. This has proved a prevalent issue in the UK in light of the government programme, Prevent, aimed at tackling extremism and limiting radical speakers from attending University events.The letter may be seen to echo Oxford’s Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson in her commencement speech this year, when she stressed universities must ensure students “appreciate the value of engaging with ideas they find objectionable”.In May, Oxford began issuing “trigger warnings” to undergraduate law students before lectures containing material deemed too “distressing”.Third year linguist Jake Smales commented, “It’s precisely our exposure to controversial opinions which helps us to formulate our own. Being sheltered from these, or even having the option to hide away from them, is simply not a representation of how the real world works. I think it’s important that Oxford, like the University of Chicago, encourages debate and discussion rather than hindering it.”Pembroke third year Carl Gergs commented, “This is Marine Le Pen at the Oxford Union all over again. We need to learn how to challenge these abhorrent opinions. Simply ignoring them won’t make them go away.”Ronni Blackford, Pembroke’s equalities rep last year, commented, “I think it’s a shame that the University of Chicago has adopted such an uncompromising stance. My own experience of trigger warnings is that they allow survivors of abuse and sufferers of PTSD a chance to mentally prepare themselves for a difficult subject or to make an informed decision to remove themselves from an overwhelming situation, without halting the conversation itself. Rather than achieving the admirable aims of upholding academic discussion and combatting censorship, the University is instead failing its most vulnerable students.”last_img read more